Forgot Log-in or  Password? |  Help  Not a member, Register Now!
      
Fantasy Football Today
Gameday Inactives
Downloadable Draft Kit
Mock Drafts
Get Your Draft Board
Player News
Stats
Players
Depth Charts
Roster Trends
Columns
Injury Report
Projections
Rankings
Red Zone Stats
Teams
Schedules
Scores
Standings
Fantasy Games
Playoff Challenge
Commissioner
Prize Leagues
Free
Office Pool Manager
Game Pick'em
Player Challenge
Fantasy Baseball Today
2014 Draft Prep Guide
Downloadable Draft Kit
Mock Drafts
Player News
Stats
Players
Depth Charts
Roster Trends
Columns
Injury Report
Rankings
Projections
Teams
Schedules
Probable Pitchers
Scores
Standings
Fantasy Games
Commissioner
Free
Prize Leagues
Player News
Stats
Players
Columns
Injuries
Projections
Rankings
Teams
Schedules
Message Boards
Fantasy Games
Commissioner
Free
Player News
Stats
Players
Columns
Injury Report
Projections
Rankings
Teams
Schedules
Mock Drafts
Scores
Standings
Fantasy Games
Commissioner
Free
Prize Leagues
Downloadable Draft Kit
Player News
Stats
Players
Columns
Injury Report
Projections
Rankings
Teams
Schedules
Mock Drafts
Scores
Standings
Fantasy Games
Commissioner
Free
Prize Leagues
No Fantasy Teams Found
 
 
 

2013 Draft Prep: Non-roster invitees to consider

Senior Fantasy Writer
  •  

If you're going to use the crop of 2013 non-roster invitees to just tell friends that there's a second Jesus Montero, or tweet out that there's a player in the Royals organization whose birth name is Sugar Ray Marimon, then there's probably no place for you in a deep Fantasy league. You don't even deserve a kind-of deep league.

Get your Custom Draft Kits!
Download your Draft Kit for Draft Day 2014 that's customized to your specific league scoring system, format and player pool!
Download your Draft Kit today!

Non-roster invitees are a thing of beauty -- a collection of veterans trying to find a home with another team, injury returnees, former speedsters looking for third chances, and a host of familiar names trying to make some sort of impact -- all coupled with some of the organization's most prized prospects. Last year, an astute NRI follower might have pegged Juan Pierre as a player to watch; he was vying for a role on the Phillies against Scott Podsednik and able to take advantage of a hole in the roster and turn it into what eventually became almost full-time at-bats.

This year, there are a handful of players who could make an impact, from Chone Figgins to Erik Bedard. There's no guarantee they make the team, or will even play a major role if they do, but if there's room for a little risk-taking in your Fantasy-playing life, here are some names you may want to consider on Draft Day 2013.

Two formerly successful high-strikeout starting pitchers

Erik Bedard (Astros) and Rich Harden (Twins): Bedard had a nightmarish 2012, finishing with a 5.01 ERA before being released by the Pirates in August. But he actually got off to a nice start -- a 2.65 ERA through five starts -- before back issues in May sent him on a downward spiral. Bedard is far from a young fireballer (he's 35 years old), but it's interesting how quickly people forget that he has a career 3.85 ERA with just about a strikeout per inning. And in the five seasons prior to 2012, Bedard had a 3.44 ERA and 1.24 WHIP with a strikeout per inning. The Astros have plenty of holes in the rotation, and Bedard can slot nicely at No. 5. Where you want to take him: At the end of an AL-only draft.

Harden, 31, has a career 3.76 ERA and 1.30 WHIP, with a K/9 over 9.0. This is even more impressive considering he put up a career-ERA-damaging 5.36 ERA in 174 2/3 innings over his past two injury-plagued seasons. Harden missed all of 2012 after undergoing rotator cuff surgery and manager Ron Gardenhire has made comments that suggest Harden isn't ready for the rotation just yet. But the Twins are hurting for back-end pitching, and if Harden can prove worthy, he could be a nice boost to a deep Fantasy team by midseason. Where you want to take him: In the final reserve round of AL-only leagues.

A former speedster looking for a shot at redemption

Chone Figgins (Marlins): From 2005 to 2010, Chone Figgins hit .285 and averaged 46 steals per year, topping out with 62 stolen bases in 2005. But after three ugly years in Seattle -- the last two of which he hit .185 -- Figgins was cut loose. Now 35 years old, Figgins has joined the Marlins, a team decimated by unpopular trades and full of roster holes, in hopes of making a comeback. Figgins can play third base, second base, or any of the outfield positions. He gets a fresh start on a team from which nobody is expecting much. He's just two years removed from stealing 42 bases. There's not a lot of hope for Figgins to make a widely-felt Fantasy impact in 2013, but there is a chance that he at least makes the team and plays enough to steal 20 bases, making Figgins an asset in NL-only Roto leagues. Where you want to take him: At the end of an NL-only draft.

A pair of outfielders who could crack their teams

Rick Ankiel (Astros) and Marlon Byrd (Mets): Ankiel, 33, was no longer needed in Washington last year after the arrival of Bryce Harper. While his .244 lifetime average isn't the prettiest of numbers, he does have a 25-home run season under his belt (in 2008) and could snag a starting outfield spot as a veteran presence on a very young team. Ankiel may benefit from the smaller home stadium with the Astros, and could return the value of a reserve bid in auction leagues (although I wouldn't pick him there unless he absolutely has a starting role). Where you want to take him: Off waiver wires in AL-only leagues if he wins a starting spot and gets off to a hot start.

Byrd, meanwhile, took a 50-game PED hit last year while hitting a career-low .210 in 143 at-bats. While he put up miserable numbers with the Cubs over his first 13 games, a trade to the Red Sox seemed to give Byrd a boost -- he hit .270 over 100 at-bats before the suspension. The Mets have a handful of younger and more exciting outfielders, but Byrd could sneak his way into the mix, knocking down someone like Mike Baxter in the process. Even if he makes the team, though, Byrd will probably not do enough (think a .265 average and seven-ish home runs) to justify a spot on all but the deepest of NL-only teams. Where you want to take him: Off waiver wires in NL-only leagues if he wins a starting spot.

A player I'd really like to see start at second for the Royals

Brandon Wood: If you paid any attention to the minor leagues or prospect rankings over the last eight years, the name Brandon Wood means something to you. He tore apart pitching on his path to the majors, at one point ascending to a lofty ranking as the No. 3 prospect in baseball. Wood hit 43 home runs and 53 doubles over two levels in 2005 at the age of 20. He followed that with seasons of 25, 23, 31, and 22 home runs. He's gotten to double-digit steals three times. He has a .281 career minor league average. And then, when he saw the majors for the first time in 2007 ... nothing. He hit .152 in that first season. Over 55 games in 2008, Wood hit .200. He also has seasons of .195, .146, and .216. But he did see somewhat erratic playing time, and the constant failures had to have messed with his head a little bit.

Wood is now 28, and he has a legitimate shot at making the Royals as a utility infielder. He has played shortstop, first, and third base so far this spring, but with Chris Getz and Johnny Giavotella doing a lesser-of-two-evils battle at second, it didn't seem totally out of the question to think Wood could have worked his way into that battle. Unfortunately, it doesn't look like the Royals have much interest in crafting a spring training redemption story for a once-prospect. But with the way Chris Davis -- another former top prospect -- came into his own last year after being all but left for dead, there's at least a glimmer of hope that Wood can stick around as a utility player and work his way into some playing time, possibly delivering on the potential that has been long forgotten. Where you want to take him: Off waivers, but only if and when Ned Yost pulls that whole, "we're going to try Wood at second base," line when things go awry for his starter.

That random guy who could stumble into playing time

Kensuke Tanaka (Giants): San Francisco's middle infield is pretty much locked down, with Marco Scutaro at second and Brandon Crawford at shortstop, but Tanaka is a slick-fielding product of Japan's Pacific League, who gave up a contract that would have paid him around $3 million to come and essentially try out for the Giants. He doesn't have the most exciting stats, but if injury strikes -- or if Crawford stumbles and Scutaro is asked to play shortstop -- Tanaka can slide right in, hit about .275, and steal a handful of bases. Don't expect a lot of power here, but Tanaka could score a decent amount of runs and be a cheap source of steals. Where you want to take him: Off waiver wires in NL-only leagues when the above scenario plays out.

A quick assortment of less-interesting players who still could make an impact

Kelvim Escobar (Brewers): The Brewers have enough holes in their pitching staff for Escobar to find a spot somewhere..

Kevin Slowey (Marlins): He'd be NL-only reserve material if he finds his way into the rotation. Slowey is a smart pitcher who could put up a decent line.

Kevin Kouzmanoff (Marlins): Kouzmanoff has hit 16 or more home runs three times in the majors, and the only thing really blocking his path to playing time is the oft-injured Placido Polanco.

Casey Kotchman (Marlins): With Logan Morrison out early, Kotchman could grab hold of that first base job and make an early impact.

Freddy Garcia (Padres): Garcia had interesting starter (5.93 ERA/1.48 WHIP) versus reliever (2.42 ERA/0.94 WHIP) splits last year, but his value will come as a starter. Don't expect much better than a 4.40 ERA and 1.35 WHIP, but as a starting rotation filler in a deep NL-only league, there may be something there to use.

Shelley Duncan (Rays): Given fewer than 235 at-bats in each of the last three seasons, Shelley Duncan still managed 11 home runs and at least 10 doubles per year in that span. Granted, his average has suffered, but Duncan has flexed some nice power. With the Rays employing a "moving parts" system, Duncan could actually see an at-bats increase, slotting in at first base, DH, and the corner outfield positions. With more at-bats and consistency, Duncan could see his average jump a little, as well.

Miguel Tejada (Royals): If Brandon Wood can't make the Royals, this would be a solid consolation prize.

Juan Rivera (Yankees):, 1B, New York Yankees : Fun fact! Juan Rivera has averaged 15 home runs per season over the last four years and has hit .263 in that span. He's also only 34 years old. And he has the inside track to start in left field for the Yankees, being one of the few right-handed power bats in the lineup. Rivera is AL-only fodder, and you can't wait on him to see if he'll produce -- with Curtis Granderson coming back, Rivera's going to be useful early, then probably settle into a role as sometimes-first baseman until Teixeira returns, eventually becoming a part-time DH in a platoon with Travis Hafner.

Stay in touch with the most passionate Fantasy staff in the business by following us on Twitter @CBSFantasyBB or Nando Di Fino at @NandoCBS . You can also send our staff an e-mail at fantasybaseball@cbsinteractive.com .

  •  
 
 
CBSSports Facebook Google Plus
COMMENTS
Conversation powered by Livefyre
 
 
Player News
Brandon Belt swings bat Tuesday, could return this weekend
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(7:50 pm ET) Giants first baseman Brandon Belt took some swings Tuesday after passing his concussion test the previous day, the San Jose Mercury News reports.

Belt could be cleared for game action this weekend, either on a rehab assignment or back with the Giants. He has been out since July 19 while recovering from his injury.


Carlos Rodon to make Class A debut Wednesday
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(7:47 pm ET) White Sox pitching prospect Carlos Rodon is scheduled to join high Class A Winston-Salem Wednesday and pitch in relief for the team on the same day, MLB.com reports.

Rodon made two appearances with the team's Arizona League affiliate, giving up two earned runs on four hits in three innings while striking out five and walking none. He was selected third overall in his year's amateur draft and could move quickly through the system.


Kohl Stewart dealing with shoulder tightness
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(7:38 pm ET) Twins pitching prospect Kohl Stewart had an MRI on his right shoulder Tuesday after experiencing tightness recently, the Cedar Rapids Gazette reports.

Pitching in his first full season after being selected fourth overall in the 2013 draft, Stewart owns a 2.42 ERA, 1.13 WHIP and 58:23 K:BB ratio in 81 2/3 innings over 17 starts with Class A Cedar Rapids.


George Springer takes batting practice Tuesday
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(7:35 pm ET) Astros outfielder George Springer participated in batting practice on the field Tuesday for the first time since going on the disabled list, the Houston Chronicle reports.

Springer is expected to increase his activities over the next few days. "He’s increased his activity every day," manager Bo Porter said. "I think yesterday he was able to throw and do a little shagging. He’s been hitting in the cage and he’s going to continue to hit and it seems like he’s progressing well."

Springer hasn't played since July 19 while dealing with a quad injury.


Travis Snider returns to lineup Tuesday
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(7:02 pm ET) Pirates outfielder Travis Snider is in the starting lineup for Tuesday's game against the Giants.

Snider hasn't started since last Wednesday as he was recovering from a hamstring injury. He was able to pinch-hit Sunday, smacking a home run in the process. Snider has hit .256/.337/.396 with six home runs and 19 RBI in 164 at-bats.


Jason Heyward out of lineup Tuesday
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(6:54 pm ET) Braves outfielder Jason Heyward is out of the lineup for Tuesday's game against the Dodgers.

Heyward was removed from the fourth inning of Monday's game with a back injury. He has hit .260/.350/.379 with nine home runs, 42 RBI and 12 stolen bases in 396 at-bats. Heyward is likely to return to the lineup Wednesday or Thursday, MLB.com reports.


Coco Crisp's MRI reveals no changes
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(6:28 pm ET) An MRI on the injured neck of Athletics outfielder Coco Crisp revealed no changes, the San Francisco Chronicle reports.

Crisp will meet with the team Friday to determine when he'll play next. He hasn't played since Saturday with the issue, but he won't need a trip to the disabled list, the Oakland Tribune reports. He's dealing with "chronic, degenerative changes" in his neck, Comcast SportsNet California reports.


Ricky Nolasco throws bullpen session Tuesday
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(6:25 pm ET) Twins pitcher Ricky Nolasco completed a bullpen session Tuesday, throwing nothing but fastballs and changeups, the St. Paul Pioneer Press reports.

Nolasco is scheduled to throw again Thursday, and it's possible he could go out on a rehab assignment if all goes well with his next session. Out since early July with an elbow strain, he owns a 5.90 ERA and 72:28 K:BB ratio in 103 2/3 innings.


Nick Castellanos scratched with bruised finger
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(6:22 pm ET) Tigers third baseman Nick Castellanos was a late scratch from Tuesday's lineup due to a bruised right index finger, the team announced.

Castellanos, who is day-to-day with the injury, was replaced by J.D. Martinez in the lineup. Miguel Cabrera will move across the diamond and play third base for the eighth time this season.


Michael Pineda throws 45 pitches in simulated game
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(6:18 pm ET) Yankees pitcher Michael Pineda threw 45 pitches in a simulated game Tuesday, ESPN.com reports.

Pineda is set to begin a rehab assignment Sunday, and he'll be activated at some point in the following 30 days if he doesn't suffer a setback and have to come off assignment. He has been sidelined since April 23 due to shoulder inflammation.


 
 
 
Rankings